Riven by substantive differences and just 24 hours to go, negotiators were grappling tonight for a climate deal as US sought to nudge India on the use of coal while the French President acknowledged “difficulties” over financing and compensation for loss and damage.
After 11 days of hard negotiations over a draft that kept eliminating divergence, representatives of 195 countries were burning midnight oil to sort out problems over emissions from coal, oil and gas that could worsen environment for future generations. Following up on US President Barack Obama’s telephonic talk with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Secretary of State John Kerry walked into the India pavilion at the CoP21 here to talk to Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar.
Both the leaders declined to go into the specifics of the divergences but Javadekar said the meeting was “productive” and expressed hopes for “more convergence” over the draft of the climate accord. “The meeting was productive. It was to bring about solutions. Our negotiating teams are working on languages. We are hopeful that there will be more convergence emerging. We discussed all issues of differentiation, nature of agreement, finance and technology apart from the issue of harmony with decision (text),” Javadekar said after meeting Kerry.
“We have discussed all issues and whatever the differing views on different positions and we are working toward… because we want Paris to succeed. We want future generations to get a right and good deal from Paris and to that end we work, and I think today’s meeting was a productive meeting,” he said.
Javadekar’s meeting with Kerry was the second this week and lasted almost an hour. The meeting came ahead of the release of the second draft negotiating text which is expected to reach convergence on major issues even as a lot of differences still remain. Meanwhile, French President Francois Hollande today said there were “still difficulties” in the climate talks here, especially on financing. “There are still difficulties, we are aware of them, on financing…There is also some resistance, particularly in relation to compensation for (climate-inflicted) loss and damage.” Hollande said.
“We also need to ensure the commitments are not too far into the future,” he said. India is engaged with various countries and groups to arrive at convergence on key issues it has flagged. It has also made clear that it will not come under “any” pressure from any group of countries on issues which it has flagged. “We are not facing any pressure. Under the leadership of Narendra Modi we are not in a habit of taking pressure. We don’t speak in terms of sticky issues. There is no pressure, there is no trade off and there is straight talks and convergence,” Javadekar said.